Author Topic: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)  (Read 1169 times)

Percival

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[FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« on: 2019-08-17 20:50:19 »
“I think it will be a shame if we won’t be able to cry as we play our own games.” – Nobuo Uematsu


If you can create an HD remaster of the graphics, can you create an HD remaster of the story? 

Yes, you can…and in honor of this game’s 20th anniversary, that's exactly what I've done.



Final Fantasy 8: Succession v0.5

Download from the Nexus: Here

Direct download link: Here

- About FF8: Succession –
Spoiler: show

  This is not a gameplay mod, this is a story mod. This mod is designed to be the companion piece to my gameplay mod, Martial Law.

  The goal of this mod was to enhance the overall quality of the game’s dialogue, by improving on the English localization, and enriching the characterization of the main cast. Beyond that, this mod seeks to improve both the plot of the game and how that plot is told.

  This mod is not a fan fiction, or a way to insert speculative theories into the narrative. Instead, it is an attempt to enhance the story that already exists. In that sense, it is closer to an adaptation. Any changes to the story have been made for one of three reasons: to clarify the characters’ motivations for their actions, to eliminate apparent inconsistencies in the plot, or to enhance the themes already present in the original story. The aim was to change as little as possible of the story, while changing as much as necessary to how that story is conveyed.

  With that said, there have been a few big changes made by this mod. The greatest change is in the effects of the Guardian Forces. Let me be clear: in this story, none of the characters HAVE AMNESIA. Many people will be happy to hear that, and I agree with them. But a change as large as that does have ripple effects in the story, and a number of other things have had to change as a result.

  There are several similar, but lesser changes that have been made, and each of these comes with its own ripple effects. I have done my best to weave these changes together in a way that is both believable and compelling.

  The original integrity of the characters has been maintained, for the most part. The characters subjected to the most change have been Seifer, Rinoa, and Headmaster Cid. Each of these characters have had their motivations refined. As a result, their presence in the story is more pronounced, and their effects on the main character carry more weight.

  My hopes for this mod is that it will improve the quality of the game, without taking away anything that made it good in the first place. For anyone who loved the original game, this should only make you love it more. And for those of you who took issue with the game due to its story, this mod is definitely a reason to give the game a second chance.

  This mod was inspired by the desire to have a story worthy of its OST.




- Text Boxes -
Spoiler: show

   Another aspect of the game that this mod seeks to address was the placement of the text boxes. In the original, there were many times when the dialogue box obstructed something crucial to the scene. This was usually some action taken by the characters, or the faces of those speaking. This issue is present in nearly every scene in the game. It can be incredibly distracting, and makes it more challenging to connect with both the events taking place and the emotion of the characters.

  It is possible that this was not as much of a problem in the original Japanese, since the length of the text will ultimately determine how much of the screen it obstructs. It is very likely that none of the boxes were changed following any language translation. But along with edited text, most of the text boxes in this mod have been edited as well, solving most of these issues.

  This change is the sort of quality of life improvement that I believe makes this mod worth having if only just for that.


Original                                                                Succession


- How to use this Mod -
Spoiler: show

  This mod requires the steam version of Final Fantasy 8. It may also work for the older PC version of the game, but I have not tried it for myself. To use this mod, simply copy the three files, field.fi, field.fl, and field.fs to your FF8 steam folder:

  data>lang en.

  Replace the original field files with the ones from the mod. And I always recommend making a backup. That’s it!




- Mod Progress -
Spoiler: show

  This mod is a work in progress. So far, this mod covers the entire game up to the end of disc 2. This has already been a surprisingly large undertaking.

  The original script for this game is around 75,000+ words, and that only includes the main story. That is the size of a small novel. For this mod, I have already personally rewritten over 44,000+ words. And I still have 2 discs left to go…

  My main goal is to finish the main story, but there are several smaller changes I would still like to make on disc 1 & 2. I have not yet made any significant changes to the Laguna sequences. There is also a number of NPCs, especially in Balamb Garden, whose exposition should be improved.

  Look for an update for disc 3 & 4 in the coming months!


  For a sample of the many improvements made, check out the videos:

Youtube Playlist


- A Word to Other Modders –
Spoiler: show

  If you have already played through this game multiple times, like me, and the original narrative is becoming stale, this is definitely the mod for you. It will provide you with an interesting and refreshing take on a story already familiar to you.

  If your goal is speed, and you tend to mash through the text as fast as possible to get to the battles, then this mod is definitely not for you. Due to the many changes in dialogue, the script is roughly 10% longer than the original, and will take a bit more time to get through. (Though I would still recommend experiencing it just once.)

  The changes in this mod are to the TEXT ONLY. No changes have been made to either the game scripts, or the animations. My hope was to minimize any compatibility issues with other mods.


- Tools used -

Deling - by myst6re


« Last Edit: 2019-08-21 02:30:16 by Percival »

eXistenZe

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #1 on: 2019-08-18 08:48:03 »
Honestly, I prefer the original...
Making some corrections is one thing. Changing the story is another. Ok... But in your video you change how character personalities roll out. Squall was the ailent type, and seifer always insults zell. Seing that changed is not very friendly to the fans...

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #2 on: 2019-08-18 16:01:08 »
  No worries, man. There are a lot of fans who prefer the original gameplay or graphics, too. As with any mod, I appreciate the feedback. And it is still a work in progress.

  After playing the game so many times myself, I was just looking to create a more nuanced experience. Squall still maintains his personality, but in a manner that better suits a young man with the potential to lead an army.

  Seifer is definitely the one who’s been altered the most. He has a greater sense of superiority and indifference, rather than pettiness. He insults both Zell and Squall. He just says it to Quistis. He even threatens Zell with violence if he doesn't follow his orders. My goal was to make him as intimidating in the story, as gameplay mods have made him in battle.

What did you think of the video of the inauguration dance with Rinoa and Quistis?
« Last Edit: 2019-08-18 16:23:20 by Percival »

DLPB

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #3 on: 2019-08-18 17:26:57 »
Honestly, I prefer the original...
Making some corrections is one thing. Changing the story is another. Ok... But in your video you change how character personalities roll out. Squall was the ailent type, and seifer always insults zell. Seing that changed is not very friendly to the fans...

Yeah, but this is a mod that's been made for free and in the guy's own time.  It's up to people whether they play it.  Mods don't have to appeal to "fans".

eXistenZe

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #4 on: 2019-08-18 19:43:35 »
Some parts I liked, like reporting quistsis for flirting with a student. It goes in character with squall and it's funny.
The whole game develops towards friendship between the students, even Seifer. Throwing teen insults at everyone fills his role. Superiority and indifference does not.
You can change a lot in the game dialogs developing the characters further, but without breaking their roles in the story.
Removing amnesia is not a bad concept, but you will need a huge plot change for the trabia scenes. It's sort of the game story twist.
It's a shame I don't have the time now to test the mod. When it develops further perhaps I'll find some time to do so. Also, I hope you get some proper feedback to give ideas.

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #5 on: 2019-08-18 22:42:12 »
Some parts I liked, like reporting quistsis for flirting with a student. It goes in character with squall and it's funny.
  Thank you very much!

The whole game develops towards friendship between the students, even Seifer.
  I agree with you, but not with Seifer. Seifer is a very challenging character to write. He goes from not getting along with his peers, to willfully launching missiles at them, with the intent of killing everyone in Balamb Garden, including Raijin and Fujin. The only redemption he has is post-game, and we don’t have the opportunity to experience it.

Throwing teen insults at everyone fills his role. Superiority and indifference does not.
  You’re right. His given role is that of a schoolyard bully. Unfortunately, this contrasts very sharply with his apparent ability to lead an army of his own. I wanted to strike a balance between these two, with a character that was still petty and spiteful, but also had the grist to become a future general.

Superiority and indifference does not.
  Superiority and indifference are definitely aspects of Seifer's vanilla character, especially toward Zell. Remember his “Swatting at flies” comment? Not to mention him ditching his team, both during the mission, and afterward with the car.

Removing amnesia is not a bad concept, but you will need a huge plot change for the trabia scenes. It's sort of the game story twist.
  Trust me, I am well aware of this. I’ve already finished rewriting that scene. It took more than a month…

  I really do value the feedback, and will continue to make tweaks for a future update. I have already finished the entire story, every single scene, up until the end of disc 2. That’s well over half the game in terms of story.

  I am not interested in forcing my mod to become anyone’s new head-cannon or anything. If you do ever play it, let me know. After all, isn’t that what this forum is for?

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #6 on: 2019-08-18 22:45:18 »
@eXistenZe

Also, you never gave your opinion on what I really wanted to know…textbox placement!

eXistenZe

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #7 on: 2019-08-19 12:02:14 »
Can you make a screenshot comparison and add it to the main post? It's easier to see that way. Story is easy to memorise, but text placement is not.

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #8 on: 2019-08-19 12:32:07 »
Also good feedback. Will do!

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #9 on: 2019-08-19 12:35:08 »
I am also in the process of making more sample videos to highlight the extent of the mod.

eXistenZe

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #10 on: 2019-08-19 16:06:19 »
Nice changes in the third video. Those "I am..."
But confusing as hell. Edea model is actually ultimecia in that stage, so knowing Seifer should not happen. It's the first time she sees him. I don't think ultimecia has access to edea's memories, or at least it's not obvious in the original game.

gunner_1207

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #11 on: 2019-08-19 21:35:31 »
Nice changes in the third video. Those "I am..."
But confusing as hell. Edea model is actually ultimecia in that stage, so knowing Seifer should not happen. It's the first time she sees him. I don't think ultimecia has access to edea's memories, or at least it's not obvious in the original game.
i gotta agree i thought the exact same while watching that 3rd vid, its ultimecia at that stage she doesn't know him.
but man your work is magnificent very well done

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #12 on: 2019-08-20 02:49:13 »
  Hey, I’m glad you guys noticed that fact!

  And you’re right, eXistenZe, it’s not obvious at all in the original, which can create issues with establishing proper character motivation.

  This is related to the trickle-down effect of removing the amnesia. All of the characters’ backstories and motivations have been fleshed out, as well as some other aspects of the plot. This is all in an attempt to bring harmony to parts of the story that otherwise do not work well together.

  I would go into more detail, but it would take longer than one post. It really is a better conversation to have after you have played through disc 2. And honestly, probably a good chunk of disc 3. It is also directly connected to the meaning behind the name of the mod: Succession.

  And you might consider those details to be “spoilers”.

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #13 on: 2019-08-20 03:12:10 »
  Also, it is important to note that this mod makes changes to the original story. Most are small, and a very few are large. The good thing about this is that I believe that all of these changes are quality, and have good reasons behind them. The bad thing about that is that anyone well aware of the original will invariably have to let go of their prior assumptions based on the original.

  As I said in the description, it would be better if you thought of it like an adaptation, like from a book to a movie. Everyone knows that Robert Downey Jr.’s depiction of Tony Stark is different from his depiction in the comics. But he handles his interpretation with respect for the original. And no one minds.

 Because he is just that damn good.

greator

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #14 on: 2019-09-06 19:14:25 »
I like the original story, but I played them like more then 10 times already. I wish we can get the original Japanese translation which has a bit different dialog then the english one.
Looking forward to this project, I'll wait until all the discs is finished.

miklol

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #15 on: 2019-09-08 20:20:16 »
Hi,
I've watched all 5 snippets from YouTube, and loved everything I saw apart from one character.
I'll hold on the feedback until I've played a decent chunk of your mod, to avoid making a terrible misjudgment ^^
I'm really look forward to trying the game with your changes.

At any rate, I think the effort you're going for is an incredible show of love for the game. My only concern would be for you to get sidetracked and never finish ; or for you to get burnt-out and lose motivation to fix the little flaws that might remain.

So, I hope your motivation's intact ; I think this task is worth every effort ; and I'll be in touch! :)

@greator : you can pick up the Japanese text in the new Remastered release. It's a bit out of my level for now, but you might enjoy it.

Foghart

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #16 on: 2019-09-09 01:42:25 »
Just finished watching your YT videos and I must say, its a new and nice touch to the story. You tried to keep their character on check and fixed some few plot holes (no one talked about you assassinating NORG after the fight in the original, every hatted staff just disappeared). After the dance Quistis sounded a little too needy imo, but it was fine in the end. The stage scene with Seifer was pretty good, it increased the suspence about who was the sorceress and whats her connection with the rest.
Keep up the good work, and when the modders find a way to mod the Remaster, try converting it if you like!

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #17 on: 2019-09-10 17:50:02 »
@miklol:  Thanks!  I really appreciate that!

The only reason not to finish it would have been if no one was interested. I already have fairly comprehensive notes for the rest of the game. As long as I know people like it, I will definitely finish.

And it will still be a while before I get any feedback from anyone who has completed the mod up until the end of disc 2.

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #18 on: 2019-09-10 18:20:41 »
Just finished watching your YT videos and I must say, its a new and nice touch to the story. You tried to keep their character on check and fixed some few plot holes (no one talked about you assassinating NORG after the fight in the original, every hatted staff just disappeared).

Yes!  There were many moments in the game that felt disconnected due to a lack of thorough exposition. I wanted to make sure that the characters spoke about events in a way that heightened the players sense of the characters' level of investment in what was happening.

I also wanted to provide the player with a good explanation for why it was happening.

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #19 on: 2019-09-10 18:23:03 »
After the dance Quistis sounded a little too needy imo, but it was fine in the end.
Yup. That was intentional.
I wanted to give the impression that she was Squall’s longstanding friend, and she was also interested in Squall, regardless of their rank. What I wanted to avoid was the sense that she was using her position as an instructor to prey on Squall, which is a valid (but not very charitable) way of interpreting the original.

If she is asking him, rather than ordering, it assists in lowering the barrier of rank that exists between them. And this is further developed in the next scene when she explains to him that she will no longer be an instructor.

Of course, I also wanted to give a stronger impression that Quistis felt threatened, and perhaps a little helpless, by the thought of Squall being attracted to some new girl (Rinoa). And she is absolutely justified in feeling this way, based on how the story unfolds.
« Last Edit: 2019-09-10 18:42:17 by Percival »

FatherMcKenzie

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #20 on: 2019-09-12 06:04:19 »
Very proud, thank you for this mod. I've been waiting for a dedicated script overhaul for years and this looks wonderful so far. FF8 is a terrific game with a terrific story, but it desperately needed to rid itself of some of the annoying dialogue. I think you've solved that issue. Can't wait for the finished product. Cheers!

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Succession Mod (v.0.5)
« Reply #21 on: 2019-09-14 05:53:14 »
@FatherMcKenzie Thank you for the encouragement!  I hope you enjoy the mod.

Yes, whenever the modding tool are available for the Remaster, I will definitely make a compatible version of both my mods. But at this point, I have no idea how long that will be.
« Last Edit: 2019-09-14 14:40:38 by Percival »